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27L departure photos, Stanwell Moor - has anybody been there

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andygolfer
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27L departure photos, Stanwell Moor - has anybody been there

Post by andygolfer » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:58 pm

I'm planning to go to Heathrow tomorrow and they will be on 27L departures until 3pm so I've been looking for places for decent departure shots until the change round. I know about the Esso Garage but they are too high there to get side on-ish pics for my liking so I've been looking at departure routes and heights and this spot looks pretty good, has anybody tried it please?

Imageheathrow - Stanwell moor & Staines moor by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

MTIA Andy
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Re: 27L departure photos, Stanwell Moor - has anybody been t

Post by PorkScratching » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:03 pm

I've not been there, but have had it in mind for a number of years. For aircraft climbing out straight ahead I think the angle will be similar to the Esso garage (but the slant range will be greater), so no advantage. Obviously those turning right after departure will be lost, but I think it could well be an excellent spot for shots of aircraft in a left turn after departure. I'll be very interested to see your results, good luck!

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Re: 27L departure photos, Stanwell Moor - has anybody been t

Post by andygolfer » Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:58 am

It's the left turn bankers I'm hoping to get from there Nick, anything going straight should be a slightly lower angle than from the garage but those that go right may be a bit of a problem looking at FR24 playbacks (and a lot of studying the flightpaths yesterday) The heavies seem to be around 1000ft there as they pass and I should be about 1100m off the centreline, the garage is about 350m and the heavies are about 300-400 ft there so as you say not much difference, the smaller stuff is usually much higher as it passes the garage so you end up with belly shots.

I had planned to go in a park off Oaks Road about an extra 200m back from the centreline direclty behind the garage but sods law being what it is the police have been very active in the houses next to it over the last 2 days as that's where one of the low life bombers was living, they may have some cordons in place around the area and wont appreciate an aviation nut hanging about! If Stanwell Moor isn't much good i may go along there and see what it's like, may be they will ahve got their evidence by now,

i'll either come up trumps or blow out completely - I shall know in a few hours! Going to Stokenchurch first to photograph red kites so hope M25 is behaving :)
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Re: 27L departure photos, Stanwell Moor - has anybody been t

Post by Cessna954 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:47 pm

Hi Andy,

hope that you got on OK today and sorry that I wasn't able to respond to your query on this location sooner.

I've tried to put together a little location plan below, hopefully it's self explanatory.

ImageStanwell Moor Location Plan by Neil D. Brant, on Flickr

Location C in Direction X - 381mm on a 1.6x crop
Image20151204-120443-Heathrow-10 by Neil D. Brant, on Flickr

Location C in Direction Y - 420mm on a 1.6x crop
Image20121204-112351-Heathrow-2 by Neil D. Brant, on Flickr

I find this location good between October and March but wouldn't try it if there's any chance of significant heat haze.

The dog field by Oaks Road is also a good location as it's suffciently set back from the runway to get good side perspectives. However, the trees are growing and the view is becoming a little more obscured.

Hope that you had a good day out, been many years since I went to view the Kites at Stokenchurch, now they're everywhere and as far west as the Wilts / Somerset borders.

Neil

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Re: 27L departure photos, Stanwell Moor - has anybody been t

Post by andygolfer » Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:25 am

Many thanks Neil, it corresponds pretty well with what I did.

I parked at A and followed the path , I didn't expect the trees to be so high! but got a few shots between the gaps as I walked south.
that point C is very close to where I was, I went through the gate - which is on it's last legs (or rather hinges) and instead of crossing the field I turned left along the well trodden footpath that leads south past the large trees on the edge of the field/concrete footpath (which follows the reservoir fence) until I was about 100 metres or so south of the trees so they weren't in my way - beyond there it's quite overgrown so couldn't go further.

I got pretty good angles but a lot of flights do a slight right turn before straightening so they were banking away from me but the ones turning left were very nice - if Id been another 300m west I think I might have avoided the bankers being a bit tail on until they turned (when by 13.00 I was looking at the shady side, at least when the sun was out). the footpath goes into that next field just south of where I was and goes west so might be worth a look next time. I found I was using more zoom than you because of being further south, up to 550ish (cropped sensor) for the smaller stuff. It certainly is a good spot for banking shots.

here are a few examples with the original uncropped pics and zoom used to illustrate what the range is like:
straight climb out:
Image9H-AEO A.320 Air Malta Heathrow 19-09-2017 5021 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr
original 516mm:
ImageIMG_5021 516mm by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

A320 banking:
ImageD-AIZM A.320 Lufthansa Heathrow 19-09-2017 4876 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr
original, 562mm
ImageIMG_4876 562mm by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

B.787 banking:
ImageVN0A864 B.787 Vietnam Airlines Heathrow 19-09-2017 4979 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr
original 484mm
ImageIMG_4979 484mm by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

A.380 banking
ImageHS-TUB A.380 Thai International Heathrow 19-09-2017 5477 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr
original 468mm
ImageIMG_5477 468mm by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

A.380 banking:
Image9M-MNA A.380 Malaysia airlines Heathrow 19-09-2017 4936 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr
original 468mm
ImageIMG_4936 468mm by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

(and by the way, that's not dirt on my lens -The Malaysian A.380 was filthy!

Re the Oaks Road field (it's called a biodiversity site according to the sign!), I popped in briefly when they were about to swap runways and just managed this quick grab of the last departure on 27L, it's uncropped and was at 218mm. A minute or two earlier I might have got a nice head on shot - one for another day - certainly a flatter angle than the Esso garage!

ImageIMG_5776 218mm by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

hope this is of use to others who go to Heathrow for photography and thanks to Neil (Cessna) for his input

and as for the red kites- when I got to Watlington it was a thick mist and I only saw two, usually I see them on the M.40 but even though that was clearish sunshine I didn't see any at all, usually they are everywhere. Maybe they are getting fed in the towns now so they don't risk the traffic!

andy
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Re: 27L departure photos, Stanwell Moor - has anybody been t

Post by PorkScratching » Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:54 am

Those have worked well Andy. Shame they're not really established in the left turn by the time they're in a prime spot though. I wonder if 27R departures might be better?

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Re: 27L departure photos, Stanwell Moor - has anybody been t

Post by Mike » Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:39 pm

Nice shots, Andy. :thumb:
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Re: 27L departure photos, Stanwell Moor - has anybody been t

Post by andygolfer » Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:47 pm

PorkScratching wrote:Those have worked well Andy. Shame they're not really established in the left turn by the time they're in a prime spot though. I wonder if 27R departures might be better?
could be Nick, I've been looking at and taking screenshots of the departure routes this afternoon to try to work out the optimum point, trouble is centre of the turn puts me in deep water - literally! (Wraysbury reeservoir) :o
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Re: 27L departure photos, Stanwell Moor - has anybody been t

Post by andygolfer » Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:54 pm

here we are then, fresh from my PC! and I'm pleased to say I wasn't in deep water when I looked at the results.

I've plotted the paths of 5 flights that I took pics of on Tuesday and drawn a reasonable average for the departing track. It seems that I was 2.4KM from the track when they were at maximum bank - might explain why the misty cloud played havoc with some of my pics. I've tried to work out where the centre of the 'arc' for the track is and have marked it. In theory that should be the ideal spot but I think that a bit further south would be slightly better as the aircraft should be either side or or very slightly head on at max bank, and the sun will be a bit more behind you assuming you are there in the morning or early afternoon before the runway change (by about 14.00 the aircraft fuselage will be in it's own shadow anyway).
it might be possible to go a bit closer on the footpaths closer to the M25 but too close and the topside effect will be lost and in the area of those paths there is a line of pylons and wires which run parallel with the line of shot so they might well interfere with your photography.
One big downside of this location is that you are putting all your eggs in one basket to get the banking / topside shots and this far south you are a long way from the tracks of the other aircraft so you could miss opportunities to photograph other departing aircraft not leaving via Dover. Neil mentioned heat haze problems in summer (and if you suffer like me with hay fever, this would be a very unsatisfactory location in summer) nad I even noticed what loked like a bit of heat haze on some of mine, others had moisture haze due to the cloudy atmosphere, at these distances you probably need to pick your day carefully.

anyway in true blue peter fashion - here's one i prepared earlier - hope it's useful

ImageLHR 27L dover departure track and photo points by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

Andy
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Re: 27L departure photos, Stanwell Moor - has anybody been t

Post by PorkScratching » Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:38 pm

andygolfer wrote:It seems that I was 2.4KM from the track when they were at maximum bank
That statement, and "Distance to centre of arc (max bank)" on the map, suggests you might be limiting your location rather more than you need to. With a turn of that magnitude (110deg or so), the bank angle will likely be constant for much of the turn, rather than increasing during the first half, reaching an instantaneous peak, and then decreasing. Bank will be rolled on at the start of the turn, held constant through most of the turn, and then rolled off again with 10-20deg of the turn left to go. So you should be able to position yourself more flexibly!

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Re: 27L departure photos, Stanwell Moor - has anybody been t

Post by andygolfer » Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:44 pm

PorkScratching wrote:
andygolfer wrote:It seems that I was 2.4KM from the track when they were at maximum bank
That statement, and "Distance to centre of arc (max bank)" on the map, suggests you might be limiting your location rather more than you need to. With a turn of that magnitude (110deg or so), the bank angle will likely be constant for much of the turn, rather than increasing during the first half, reaching an instantaneous peak, and then decreasing. Bank will be rolled on at the start of the turn, held constant through most of the turn, and then rolled off again with 10-20deg of the turn left to go. So you should be able to position yourself more flexibly!
I see what you mean Nick but I was also using the distance to work out how far away I would need to be to get a good topside whilst not going so far that the quality diminishes. From where I was the problem was that the aircraft was going away whilst banking rather than side on until the point where it was turning towards the sun (when the sun was not hidden by cloud) and the side facing me was becoming shadowed as the aircraft became side on. By being further south it would have become side on earlier. There is probably (as you say) some flexibility to it but the sun was becoming more and more of an issue as the day went on. Probably (I say probably because of the cloud that was about) if I'd been there at 8am the sun would have been on the side facing me throughout the turn - maybe I shouldn't have wasted time chasing red kites that were grounded by mist! I suppose I will just have to make another trip sometime to try my luck :D
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